3 Days near Filey, Yorkshire. June 2021
Updated: Jul 6
Off we go again on our Grand Tour in Buzzbee, and en route to the east coast we make a small detour to pay homage to one of Chris’ favourite programmes. (I have to confess to quite liking it too!). 'Bangers and Cash' is centred around Matthewsons, a family run car auction house in Thonton-le-Dale. We parked the camper easily in the car park and wandered through the pretty village. Already visited by tourists, the programme has definitely increased the interest, and on their monthly auction days it is packed.
Sadly, at the moment, their museum is closed and auctions are online only, but it really does look like the programme, and there were a few interesting cars around, including a red Fiat 126 that caught my eye as that was my first ever car! I did suggest to Chris it would be perfect to tow behind the camper…! In the last blog I described our 7.5 mile walk along the river near Knaresborough, and our disappointment at not seeing a fairly secretive bird called a Dipper. We were therefore rather stunned to see one on a rock, and nesting in the stream right next to the A road running through this village!
Next, on to Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve, where we parked the campervan, and used excellent Showfa taxis to take us to Flamborough Head. It was busy, being a sunny Saturday, but we soon left the crowds behind, as we were walking back to Bempton along the coast path. At Flamborough is the wonderful chalk beacon tower, built in 1634. Originally with fires at the top, these were replaced with semaphore flags, and eventually superceded by the new lighthouse in 1806.
The stunning cliff scenery with arches and stacks is a real ‘des res’ for birds, and our 4.5 mile walk revealed thousands nesting precariously on the cliffs. Near Flamborough, the main residents are Kittiwake, Guillemot and Razorbill, but as you approach Bempton, the Gannet Colony comes into sight, and smell! If you are lucky, as we were, you will also glimpse some Puffins near their burrows. Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve has viewing platforms that let you get excellent views of the cliff face. We also saw our first Corn Bunting of the trip here, and there were lots of wild orchids around.
Our campsite was Graffitoe Farm, a few miles from Filey. An independent site, the owners were very friendly. EHU, and full facilities here, and well spaced pitches. We liked it very much. The sunsets were good too!
Next day was forecast with rain at first, so we had a lazy morning, having showers, and writing the last blog! Then, we drove to the Park and Ride and got the bus into Scarborough, a first for us. We walked from the South beach, with it’s grand Victorian Hotels and theatre, along the promenade with Amusement Arcades and donkeys on the beach, to the old harbour with it’s mix of fishing boats and pleasure boats.
We then continued past the old toll house onto Marine Drive, which was built in 1904 under the massive cliffs that back the town. We continued round, and then spotted a path up the back of the massive cliffs, so decided to climb it! At the top is Scarborough Castle (English Heritage). We were so glad we visited here. This headland has quite a history! A Viking settlement, a Roman lookout and signalling station, and then this magnificent castle. Like so many places up here, it was heavily damaged in 1645 by Cromwell’s men in the Civil War, but was also further destroyed in the early days of World War I, when 3 German warships fired on the town and castle, killing 17 people and injuring 80. They also attacked Hartlepool and Whitby on the same day. In these more peaceful times, the moat was full of flowers, and we were completely unaware of the merriment going on in the busy town below. Such a peaceful spot, and they did a very good deluxe Hot Chocolate in the café too! We walked back down into the town to catch the Park and Ride bus, passing the grave of Anne Bronte on the way.
On Sunday morning we visited Sewerby Hall and gardens near Bridlington (Historic Houses Assoc.). This lovely hall looks across lawns to the sea, and was built in 1714 by John Graeme, with additions in the 18oos. The house has been cared for by the local council since 1930’s, and is run as a local amenity with gardens and a small zoo! The rooms that are open show the house as it was in 1910. In addition, there is a room full of memorabilia to Amy Johnson, including excellent accounts of her epic solo flight to Australia, and her daring escapades afterwards, including her role repositioning spitfires during World War 2, which is how she eventually died, aged just 37.
The gardens were being worked on, so will be even lovelier when the bedding plants are in, but were very nice to wander around. From here, we headed to Filey. We parked in the town, and then walked out to Carr Naze and Filey Brigg, the long, dramatic cliff promontory extending into the sea. This was another Roman and wartime lookout point. Chilly on a windy day like today. Back to Filey seafront, and the Coble landing. Fishing records exist for Filey from 800 years ago, and it is still done from here today, but in a tiny fraction of the 100 boat vessels that were here in Victorian times. The Cobles were specialised boats for these waters, and at one time were built here.
Sadly, the grey day didn't make for great photos.
A lovely walk around Filey led us to Inghams for excellent Fish and chips, and rounded off with local ice cream! Filey definitely seems to be Scarborough’s more genteel neighbour! We loved it!
Having fun whatever the weather! x